Press release 19/01/2009


The employed population fell by 1.6% and the unemployment rate remained rose to 4.6% in the fourth quarter of 2008 in the A.C. of Basque Country

This unemployment rate is 2.6 percentage points under the average for the EU-27 (7.2%) and is nearly three times lower than that for Spain (13.4%)

Labour market data in Basque Country for the fourth quarter of 2008 revealed that the number of people in work stood at 955,800, which was down by 15,600 (-1.6%) compared to the previous quarter, according to Eustat data. On the other hand, the unemployment rate rose by 4.6%, 1.1 points up on the previous quarter.

As a result of the evolution of the employed and unemployed population, the activity rate fell to 54.9% in the fourth quarter of 2008.

As regards gender, this decrease particularly affected men, with 14,900 fewer employed than in the previous quarter, while the number of women employed fell by only 800. Employment fell in the three provinces: Bizkaia with 6,400 fewer net jobs, followed by Gipuzkoa with 5,500 and, finally, Álava with 3,700 fewer.

Industry and services are the sectors with the greatest loss of net jobs

Industry lost 9,400 net jobs, the service sector 5,900 and agriculture 300, while construction did not vary in the fourth quarter of 2008.

The employment rate, the percentage of employed people aged 16 to 64 out of the total number of people within these ages, stood at 67%, one percentage point less than three months earlier. This rate came to 74.8% among men, while it stood at 59.1% for women

By province, the highest employment rate was in Gipuzkoa with 69.5%, which was down on the previous quarter by one point, followed by Álava with 68.3% and down by 1.6 percentage points. Bizkaia had the lowest rate, with 65.2%, and was half a point down on the previous quarter.

The number of employed workers on an indefinite contract fell by 17,100 and stood at 607,700 and the employees with temporary contracts (including those without contracts) was down by 3,400, to a total of 181,200.

Basque Country is estimated to have around 829,300 households, of which almost a third has no working member. In almost six out of ten households, all the active people were employed, which meant 7,200 fewer families than in the previous quarter. In addition, households whose active members were all unemployed came to 13,100 (1.6% of the total), 3,200 more than in the previous quarter.

Trend of the employed population from 1985. C. of Basque Country. (In thousands)

Source: Eustat

The unemployment rate rose from 3.5% to 4.6% in Basque Country

The number of people out of work, which is to say people who were actively seeking work and were furthermore available for work, totalled 46,400 for the fourth quarter of the year, 10,900 more than in the previous quarter. The number of unemployed men, totally 23,000 people, increased by 4,100 and the number of unemployed women rose by 6,700 in the fourth quarter, up to a total of 23,300.

Data for the fourth quarter of 2008 showed that the unemployment rate was 1.1 percentage points up on the previous quarter, standing at 4.6%. The male unemployment rate rose to 4.1% (0.81 percentage points up) and the female one rose by 1.5 points, up to 5.3%. The youth unemployment rate continue to be the highest at 11.8% and had increased by 2.6 percentage points, with unemployment affecting 6,500 young active people aged 16 to 24.

The number of unemployed increased in the three provinces: By province, the number of jobless rose by 6,300 in Álava to 8,200 and brought the unemployment rate to 5.4%. In Bizkaia, there are 1,700 more unemployed and an unemployment rate of 4.9%. Finally, unemployment rose by 3.000 people to 12,800 in Gipuzkoa, with an employment rate of 3,9%.

According to EUROSTAT - Statistical Office of the European Union-, the unemployment rate in this area for November 2008 was 7.2% for the EU-27 as a whole and 13.4% for Spain..

The number of unemployed rose by 15,000 in the last year

The employed population fell over the last twelve-month period, in other words, fourth quarter of 2008 with respect to the fourth quarter of 2007, by 18,600 people (1.9%). Men mainly accounted for this decrease, with 20,600 less jobs, while women increased by 1,900.

The unemployment rate increased by 1.5 percentage points (from 3.1% to 4.6%) over the last year, which means that 15,000 more people were unemployed in the Basque Country at the end of 2008. By provinces, the unemployment rate increased by 3.4 percentage points in Álava, one percentage point in Bizkaia and by 1.5 points in Gipuzkoa over the last twelve months.


*p.p. = Difference in percentage points. Source: EUSTAT

For further information:

Basque Statistics Office
C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz
Tlf:+34-945-01 75 00 Fax:+34-945-01 75 01 E-mail:
Contact: MªJosé Santamaría Gallardo
Tel:+34-945-01 75 08 Fax:+34-945-01 75 01
Online press releases:

Product data
Product data

The employed population fell by 1.6% and the unemployment rate remained rose to 4.6% in the fourth quarter of 2008 in the A.C. of Basque Country

Operation : 
Survey on the population in relation to activity
Código operación : 
Frequency : 
Timeframe : 
Last updated : 
Next update : 
Type of operation : 
Encuesta por muestreo
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Other bodies : 
Departamento de Empleo y Políticas Sociales, Departamento de Hacienda y Economía

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